Evans dB One cymbals and drum heads are awesome for drummers that need to quiet down their drum kit. Evans offers both in a combined pack for those that want to outfit their kit with the full set. Let’s take a look at this pack and see if it’s worth buying.
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How Do The Evans dB One Drum Heads and Cymbals Sound?
Let’s start out by taking a look at our sound test. We show you what these drum heads and cymbals sound like when compared to traditional volume heads and cymbals. We also have a decibel meter on display to help you get an idea of general sound levels near the kit during the comparison.
The nice thing about these low volume drum heads and cymbals is they manage to retain some good usable tones even though they are so quiet. Extreme sacrifices need to be made to get the 80% volume reduction that Evans claims, which you can hear in the video.
The biggest difference you’ll notice with low volume drum heads and cymbals like this is that the projection and body of the cymbals is extremely lowered and the drum heads lose a lot of attack and resonance. But that is ok, that’s the idea with low volume drum gear. You pretty much need to eliminate as much of the resonance and projection as possible to reduce the volume.
The dB One Cymbals
The Evans dB One cymbals have some decent attack, but the overtones and projection are much less. You can hit them pretty hard and they still stay pretty quiet. The attack is lowered as well, but it still seems a little more pronounced on low volume cymbals when compared to the overtones. It’s more of a perception thing since the rest of the sound is subdued.
The dB One Tom and Kick Drum Heads
The Evans dB One tom and kick drum heads have a nice sound to them and retain a little bit of the attack and tone since they use a pad in the center of the mesh head. There is also a foam ring underneath the toms and kick heads that helps to dampen any excessive resonance. The result is a very quiet yet warm and tunable sound from the toms and kick.
The dB One Snare Head
The snare head is a little different. It doesn’t have the round patch or foam underneath. instead it has a ribbed plastic layer underneath to simulate a snare sound without having to rely on the snare wires on the bottom resonant head. So this allows you to turn the snare off to further reduce volume while still getting a snare type of sound out of it. This feature is unique to the Evans dB one snare drum head. Most other low volume drum heads will require you to use the snare wires on the bottom of the snare drum.
It can take a short while to get used to the sound when you first switch them over, but you’ll be jamming like normal once you adjust and realize you can play them the same in terms of technique.
Evans has done a nice job making a quality product here. These drum heads and cymbals are built to last as long as you don’t abuse them too hard. You can expect them last as long as any other traditional cymbal or drum head with proper care.
The drum heads are made from a single ply mesh. There is a patch in the center of the tom and kick drum heads that is made from a durable material. The foam underneath seems to be applied securely and I haven’t run into any issues with the foam becoming detached, even though that is the first thing I expect to go at some point. The plastic strips underneath the snare have held up well for me, but I could also see those wearing out over time, especially if you play the snare harder and put more stress on them. Since you’re not relying so much on low volume mesh heads for tone, you can likely push them further than traditional mylar heads before they’ll need to be replaced.
The cymbals are thin but feel very sturdy and aren’t as lightweight as you might expect. They have a smooth black finish and there aren’t really any sharp edges anywhere which gives them a highly polished, quality feel. They should be treated about the same as a thinner traditional cymbal in terms of keeping them in good condition. They feel like they could take the same level of abuse as my Sabian thin explosive crashes, for example. If you repeatedly play them extremely hard, they certainly can wear out just like any other thinner cymbal. But if you play with more restrained technique and force, they’ll last a long time.
Feel & Playability
The biggest advantage of using low volume drum heads and cymbals is that they play the same as traditional heads and cymbals. It’s not as extreme of a change as going between electronic drums and acoustic drums, for example.
The playability of the Evans dB One heads and cymbals is great. While mesh heads can feel a little bit more springy depending on how you have the tension adjusted, when I play on them I get used to them very fast. I also can leave my drums in the same setup and positioning as when they are outfitted with the full volume heads and cymbals. I like that a lot. It really helps when I translate between practicing on the lower volume version of the kit and then switching to the full volume version.
What’s Included in the Set?
The set is designed for a traditional rock drum set. The set includes the following:
- 10, 12 and 16 inch tom heads
- 22 inch kick drum head
- 14 inch snare head
- 14 inch hi-hats
- 16 and 18 inch crash cymbals
- 20 inch ride cymbal
The cymbals also include a 22 inch cymbal bag, which is a nice bonus.
Worth the Price?
The whole set, when brand new costs $499. That can seem a little steep when comparing the Evans dB One heads and cymbals with other budget minded options. However, the quality level definitely makes these worth the price. They are very well designed heads and cymbals, they are very quiet, and they are plenty durable.
The Evans dB One cymbals themselves compare well in terms of price to other options. They are cheaper than the Zildjian L80 cymbals and you get more cymbals in the pack for the price. They compare similarly in price to other options such as the Sabian Quiet Tone cymbals.
The Evans dB One drum heads are more expensive than most other mesh head options. However, the design is a little more involved and many other mesh heads don’t include a patch or foam rings in their design. So when you consider the extra material and features, the higher price feels more reasonable.
Overall, though, we feel the price of the pack is worth it. It’s an easy way to bring down the volume of your kit in a single purchase with some of the better low volume heads and cymbals available on the market.
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